Skypark is located within an active commercial town centre in Canberra, Australia. The building owner’s vision was to create a public realm that is ‘owned’ by everyone from office workers, residents and visitors within the Woden Town Centre to the wider Canberra community. It was to build a ‘place’ where people could go to have good coffee, good food, perhaps tapas and wine after the workday, exercise in a state of the art double-height gym and to visit markets on the weekend.
Skypark consists of seven stories of car parking and holds up to 870 cars located above 4,000 m² of commercial development on two levels. The commercial floors serve to activate the street by creating a public realm and providing good commercial exposure. The suburb was named after Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet that sailed from England in 1788 to establish the initial British colonial settlement in Australia. The buildings and streets in the area are named after ships and officers of the First, Second and Third fleets.
The concept for the form and detail of the facade design was derived from the memory of the first fleets and their great voyages, and was conceived to add meaning in the context of the naming of the surrounding buildings and streets. The architectural language, based on an openly affirmed structure overlaid by a filigree skin, depicts a swirling, foamy sea that laid immense challenge to the men and women of the first fleets; officers, sailors, soldiers, and convicts alike.